Coffee Intolerance

Coffee Intolerance Information

Coffee is a beverage that is enjoyed by people all over the world. In fact, for millions of people, drinking coffee is a part of their lifestyle. However, there are people who find themselves suffering from a condition known as coffee intolerance. Those with a coffee intolerance experience negative symptoms after consuming coffee. Those symptoms can occur several hours after consuming the beverage. In some cases, it can take up to a day or more for coffee intolerance symptoms to appear.

A food intolerance (such as a coffee intolerance) is different from a food allergy. Allergy symptoms are often more immediate and frequently more severe. Intolerance symptoms are delayed and non-life-threatening. They can be, however, lifestyle-threatening by causing a person to live with discomfort or pain.

To determine if you may have coffee intolerance, it is important to understand how the body responds to caffeine under normal conditions and how it responds to caffeine if you suffer from coffee intolerance.

What is a Coffee Intolerance?

Drinking too much coffee can cause nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea and an increased heart rate. However, if you have these symptoms after drinking just a small amount of coffee or if you suffer such symptoms regularly or for a longer period of time, you may be suffering from a coffee intolerance of a caffeine sensitivity. There are two types of coffee intolerances: digestive coffee intolerance and an immune coffee intolerance.

A digestive coffee intolerance is when the body is unable to absorb the proteins from the caffeine in the coffee. When you suffer from this condition, the body often lacks the enzyme required to properly digest caffeine. This means your body cannot properly deal with the stimulation resulting from the consumption of caffeine.

It is important to note that a coffee intolerance is very different from an allergy. Allergic reactions are often very immediate. People with allergic reactions often experience these symptoms quite quickly. These symptoms are also quite severe and, in some cases, life-threatening. Coffee intolerance or caffeine intolerance is different from a caffeine allergy as coffee intolerance does not cause life-threatening reactions and the symptoms are often delayed. Without assistance, this can make it difficult for a person to connect their negative symptoms with coffee.

Digestive Coffee Intolerance Symptoms

Digestive coffee intolerance symptoms can include: headaches, ringing in the years, fatigue, abdominal pain and cramping, gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, frequent urination and more. Not all people who have a coffee intolerance will experience the same symptoms or the same severity of symptoms.

If you have an immune coffee intolerance, your symptoms will be much more individual and unique to you.

Coffee Intolerance Treatment

Treatment for coffee intolerance involves removing or greatly reducing coffee as well as other products containing caffeine from your diet. You will find caffeine in such products as chocolate, tea, coffee, performance enhancers, medications, foods and supplements and sports beverages. Before purchasing or consuming any food or drink, you will need to ask questions and consult labels to ensure that there is no coffee or caffeine in the product.

Certain medications can increase sensitivity to caffeine by preventing the body from properly breaking it down. Even decaffeinated coffee and tea may contain a small amount of caffeine which could affect a person suffering from coffee intolerance. Herbal tea is a popular choice when seeking to eliminate coffee from your diet.

You may not need to remove coffee from your diet permanently. In many cases, a person with a coffee intolerance is later able to return to drinking coffee without experiencing negative symptoms. This should be done under the advice of a medical professional.

Determining if you have a coffee intolerance involves assessing how your body responds to caffeine. If you feel you may be coffee intolerant, you may need to remove or greatly reduce caffeine from your diet, depending on the sensitivity of your coffee intolerance. A medical professional may be able to recommend how much caffeine you can freely consume without being affected by a caffeine intolerance.

In addition, it is important to be aware that if you suddenly stop drinking coffee, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, you may want to consider gradual reduction to ease the uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, particularly if you consume a lot of coffee on a daily basis.

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